July 24, 2011
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Washington State University rower Lisa Roman and her Canadian under 23 eight crew captured gold at the 2011 World Rowing Under-23 Championships Sunday with windy, cool and rainy conditions on the Bosbaan course.
It marked the first time Canada has won gold in the eight at the U23 World Championships, setting a world best time of 6:03.23. New Zealand took silver with a time of 6:06.02, followed by the United States with the bronze in a time of 6:07.37. Germany (fourth, 6:12.97) and Great Britain (6:19.62) rounded out the medal winners. Last year the same three teams finished first through third, with the U.S. first, New Zealand second and the Canadians third.
"The women's eight rowed a great race today," women's development coach Michelle Darvill said. "They set out to break the world best time and the fast conditions worked in their favor. It was great to hear the Canadian anthem."
Roman, a native of Langley, British Columbia, was joined fellow NCAA collegiate rowers Christine Roper (Montego Bay, Jamaica/Virginia), Lauren Wilkinson (North Vancouver, British Columbia/Princeton), Laura Cowal (Thorold, Ontario/Michigan State), Susanne Grainger (London, Ontario/Virginia) and Ellen Fawcett - coxswain (St. Catharines, Ontario/Louisville), as well as Kate Goodfellow (Ottawa, Ontario), Jennifer Martins (Toronto, Ontario) and Sarah Black (Ottawa, Ontario) in the women's eight boat at the World Championships.
It took until the middle of the race for the field to spread out as Canada moved into first through the 700m mark with New Zealand close behind and the United States just half a second down. The Canadian's then showed their endurance and started to move away from New Zealand. The race was still excruciatingly close as the crews began to move into the final sprint.
New Zealand, who had won the race for lanes a couple of days ago, was rating the highest at 40, while Canada remained around 36. The United States then really started to wind it up. At the line Canada had not only won but they had set a world best time of 6.03.23. The world best time for Canada of 6:03.23 was an improvement on the time set by United States by three seconds.
"I will never forget the feeling that went through the boat when our coxswain, Ellen, called a move at the 1k mark," explained Grainger, a graduate of London Central Secondary. "You could feel everyone really focus in, come together and the boat just flew! Winning the race and attaining the goal we had set for ourselves all became so real when we were standing on the podium singing 'O Canada.' We didn't just do it for ourselves. We did it for our country and all of our family, friends and supporters that are here and back home cheering us on."
A two-year member of the Cougar rowing team, and a rising-senior, Roman has rowed with the varsity eight crew in both seasons, leading the boat to an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2011 and a 14th-place finish in 2010. This season WSU placed 12th as a team at the championships, following a 13th-place finish last season.
In the summer of 2009, Roman captured gold for British Columbia in the Canada Games, rowing in the women's pairs event.